Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Guidelines for Contributors

Scope and Editorial Policy

The mission of the Journal, WomensHealthSection.com is to publish and disseminate scientifically rigorous public health information, with special focus on women's health, of national and international significance that enables health care providers, policy-makers, and researchers to be more effective. It aims to improve health, particularly among disadvantaged populations in both developed and developing countries. Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC) welcomes unsolicited manuscripts, which are initially screened in-house for originality and relevance. Manuscripts passing the initial screening are sent blindly for peer review. After the reviews have been received, the editorial advisers decide on the manuscript's acceptability for publication in WomensHealthSection.com. Accepted papers are subject to editorial revision, including shortening of the text and omission of tables and figures if appropriate. The word limits shown below do not include the abstract (where applicable), tables, figures and references. The principal types of manuscripts are outlined below.

I. Unsolicited Manuscripts

1.1 Letters. Useful contributions referring to something published recently in the WomensHealthSection.com or WHEC Update; 400-850 words, maximum 3 references. Letters are also edited and may be shortened.

1.2 Policy & Practice. Reviews, debates or hypothesis-generating papers; not more than 3,000 words, with a non-structured abstract (see below 3.5) and not more than 25 references; peer reviewed.

1.3 Research. Methodologically sound primary research of relevance to women's health and health development. Formal scientific presentations of not more than 3,000 words, with a structured abstract (see below) and not more than 25 references; peer reviewed.

1.4 Systematic reviews in women's health. Exhaustive, critical assessments of published and unpublished studies (grey literature) on research questions of relevance to women's health and practice are welcome. Reviews should be prepared in strict compliance with MOOSE or QUOROM (PRISMA) guidelines or with Cochrane's complementary guidelines for systematic reviews of health promotion and public health interventions. Not more than 3,000 words and 25 references, plus a 250-word structured abstract (see below 3.5). All studies included and excluded in the review should be shown in a flow diagram that will not count towards the word limit if published as an appendix only in the electronic version of the journal or on the author's URL. Peer reviewed.

1.5 Perspectives. Views, hypotheses or discussions (with clear message) of an issue of women's health interest; up to 1,500 words, no more than 6 references.

1.6 Lessons from the field. Papers that capture experiences and practice gained in solving specific women's health problems in both developed and developing countries, with a structured abstract (see below); not more than 1,500 words and not more than 10 references, with no more than one table and one figure.

II. Commissioned manuscripts

The categories of articles shown below are normally commissioned by the editors. Authors wishing to submit and unsolicited manuscript to be considered for one of these categories should first contact editorial office.

2.1 Editorials. Authoritative reviews, analyses or views of an important topic related to the various themes in women's health or an important health development subject; not more than 800 words, maximum 6 references.

2.2 Round tables. Consist of a base paper on a controversial subject of current women's health issue of national and international importance (not more than 2,000 words and an abstract) and a debate on it by several discussants, who are invited to contribute not more than 500 words each.

2.3 Books & electronic media. Reviews of a book, web-site, CD-ROM, etc. of women's health interest; 400-800 words, no references.

2.4 Current commentaries. Explanatory or critical analysis of an individual article; not more than 800 words, maximum 6 references.

2.5 Public health classics. A landmark public health paper which focuses on women's health and achieving universal access to reproductive health or publication is reproduced, accompanied by a commentary of up to 1,500 words.

III. Preparation and Submission of Manuscripts

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals established by the Vancouver Group (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, ICMJE). The complete document, updated October 2007, is available at: http://www.icmje.org

3.1 Languages. Manuscripts should be submitted in English. Authors who have difficulty in preparing their manuscript in English should contact the editorial office for advice.

3.2 Authorship. Authors should give their full names and the name and address of their institutions. If possible, only one institution per author should be given. In accordance with the "Uniform requirements" (see above), each author should have participated sufficiently in the work being reported to take public responsibility for the content; each author should provide a description of his or her contribution to the work being reported. The full postal and e-mail address of the corresponding author will be published unless otherwise requested. The WomensHealthSection.com encourages submissions from authors in developing countries, and in line with this policy at least one author should be a national of the country where the study was carried out and have an affiliation there.

3.3 Automatic links: All links inserted by the automatic reference and footnote facilities of word-processing software must be removed before the manuscript is submitted. Footnotes are not permitted and such material should be inserted into the main text.

3.4 Tables and figures: Tables and figures should be used only if they enhance understanding of the text. In the text, tables and figures should be numbered consecutively (e.g. Table 1, Fig. 1). They should be presented with clear, concise titles at the end of the text and not incorporated or embedded into it. Abbreviations or acronyms should be avoided but if used must be explained. Graphs or figures, which should be presented in two-dimensional and not pseudo three-dimensional "perspective" format, should be clearly drawn and all the data identified.

3.5 Abstracts. Abstracts, which should be clearly written to highlight the text's most significant points, should be provided for the following types of papers: Research, Systematic reviews, Policy & practice, base papers for Round tables and Lessons from the field. The abstract, which should not exceed 250 words, appears in WomensHealthSection.com and WHEC Update.

3.6 Competing interest. A competing interest arises when a professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patient's welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). We ask all authors to disclose at the time of submission any competing interests that may have. Examples of types of competing interests may be found at: http://www.icmje.org.

3.7 Funding. Authors should declare sources of funding for the work undertaken; affirm that they have not entered into an agreement with the funding organization that may have limited their ability to complete the research as planned, and that they have had full control of all primary data.

3.8 Ethical issues. The Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC) publishes the results of research involving human subjects only if it has been conducted in full accordance with ethical principles, including the provisions of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (as amended by the 59th General Assembly, October 2008; available at: http://www.wma.net/ ) and the additional requirements, if any, of the country in which the research was carried out. Any manuscript describing the results of such research that is submitted for publication must contain a clear statement to this effect, specifying that the free and informed consent of the subjects or their legal guardians was obtained and that the relevant institutional or national ethical review board approved the investigation.

3.9 Maps. Use of maps should be avoided, but should their use be necessary authors are requested to use the relevant UN-approved maps, which can be downloaded from: http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/english/htmain.htm

3.10 Bibliographic references. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references, which should be verified at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov : these are not checked by editors. References should be numbered consecutively as they occur in the text (in superscript roman type, preferably at the end of a sentence) and listed in numerical order at the end of the text. WomensHealthSection.com adheres closely to the Vancouver style of references (see http://www.icmje.org updated October 2007). The first three authors of a work should be named, followed by "et al". If there are more than three.

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